One of SE Asia’s largest renewable energy microgrids now under way

Total Solar Distributed Generation (DG), in partnership with Canopy Power, is developing and constructing a solar and battery energy storage hybrid microgrid to deliver clean energy and power Koh Rong Sanloem island in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Work on the project has started, with completion slated for April 2021.

The development will consist of a 1.25-MWp ground-mounted solar PV plant and a 2-MWh battery energy storage system integrated with diesel generators and a smart controller, making it one of Southeast Asia’s largest off-grid renewable energy microgrids, announced Total Solar DG in its statement. Electricity will be distributed across two of the main bays of the island via a new Medium Voltage distribution system. The microgrid is designed to deliver electricity to the island with a renewable energy contribution of more than 50%.

Koh Rong Sanloem island is quite remote, home to more than 60 hotels, resorts and guest houses. These facilities currently rely on operating their own diesel generator systems and importing fuel in cannisters for their electricity supply. “This is expensive, unreliable, logistically cumbersome and environmentally damaging,” said Total Solar DG.

The company explained that the new microgrid will provide a stable 24-hour electricity supply at lower cost, while removing noise and air pollution from the properties and reducing island-wide diesel consumption by more than 600,000 litres per year. 

Canopy Power serves as the project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. The Singapore-based microgrid specialist will design, procure, build and handover the microgrid to Total Solar DG who will finance, own and operate the plant, providing renewable electricity to the licenced electricity retailer on the island.

“Converting an entire island from diesel to solar-battery power, in what is the largest project of its kind, is a milestone in our regional portfolio of over 600 MW of projects in operation and development. Integrating storage with solar is a way for remote locations to leverage renewables effectively. For us, it’s also a great growth opportunity as there are tens of thousands of islands in Southeast Asia,” said Gavin Adda, CEO of Total Solar Distributed Generation, Asia.

“As environmental awareness in the region increases, we are committed to delivering green energy solutions that also make financial sense. Marking Total Solar DG’s venture into hybrid renewable energy solutions, integrating energy storage with solar, this partnership and project highlights the Total Group’s commitment to environmental sustainability, and enabling effective clean, cost-cutting solutions for stakeholders.”

Sujay Malve, founder and CEO of Canopy Power commented, “We are very pleased to partner with Total Solar DG to deliver this high impact project in Cambodia. Electrification rate in Cambodia is relatively low and renewable energy microgrids would help to electrify the islands and remote parts of the country. We believe this microgrid at Koh Rong Sanloem will build local capabilities necessary for future deployments in Cambodia.”

Image: Canopy Power